Keep the blog rolling

 

"I've thought about blogging, but I'm worried about keeping up with it."

It's a legitimate concern. Especially if you would have primary or sole responsibility for the blog as well as for a business and a household, as I do.

I recently was slammed with work and family obligations on either side of a much-needed vacation, and my blog went silent. I'm cutting myself some slack because the blog is new and I haven't had much time yet to implement my full plan, but now I need to get down to blogging business again. I'll start by offering some advice—to myself and to my readers—about keeping the blog rolling.

Create a doable blogging schedule

Sure, it would be great if you could blog daily. But can you really produce quality content seven days a week? I originally planned to blog three times weekly, then I scaled it back to two. Many colleagues have been impressed that I've kept up with twice a week (before my recent hiatus), so maybe just once a week would be OK. It's your blog. You get to make the rules. If you make rules you know you can live by, you'll be more likely to keep them.

I like the twice-a-week plan and will be building back toward it as the smoke clears from this busy season.

Bank some content

Whenever you have some downtime in your business, write some evergreen content that you can post when you're too busy to produce something fresh. Never have downtime? Great! But still try to create one evergreen post a month. If I'd done that, my blog wouldn't have gone silent during my recent vacation.

Line up guest bloggers

Guest bloggers bring fresh voices to your blog. They also spread the word to their own networks and link back from their own websites, increasing traffic for your blog.

Editing a guest's post usually takes less time than producing original material, so welcoming guest bloggers frees up your time for other business development activities. My goal (alas, still just a goal) is to write a guest post for someone else's blog for every contributed post I publish on my own blog.

Vary the length and complexity of content

Every post doesn't need to be 500 words. Readers will appreciate images with just a few words of description; occasional brief, pithy reflections on the day's events; and quick expert tips (I created my TweetSmart category for this purpose).

Get help

Just because you're a nonprofit leader or successful small business owner doesn't mean you're a stellar writer and editor. So contract with someone who is! A skillful content manager can edit blog posts written by you and your staff, help you create and keep up with an editorial calendar, recruit and work with guest bloggers, and write original posts. If you go this route, be sure you contract with someone who will learn your organization and faithfully reflect its voice.

Cut yourself some slack

The best-laid plans aren't always easily followed. If you get off track and are posting less frequently than you intended, jump back in to get the blog rolling again while you reevaluate your plan.

Like I'm doing right now!